Southwest Chicken Linguine

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This creamy Southwest Chicken Linguine pasta dish is loaded with grilled chicken, mushrooms, and green onions with a southwestern spiciness from the addition of Rotel tomatoes.  This chicken pasta recipe has become a family favorite that I can get on the table in 30 minutes!

Our family eats pasta at least once a week.  It’s one of those dinners that my entire family enjoys. That’s why when I find a winner to add to the rotation, I have to share it with you!  This linguine, with its Southwestern flavors, had my heart instantly.  Rotel tomatoes, mushrooms, grilled chicken, onions … all tossed together in this most amazing creamy sauce that’s just slightly spiced.  Swoon!

My foodie pal, Brandi from Aunt Bee’s Recipes,  posted this recipe for a recipe share we were both involved in for Mother’s Day a few years back.  I was intrigued by the ingredients.  As I said, I love pasta, but I’m not always a big fan of heavy cream sauces like Alfredo. She assured me that I would love this recipe, and she was right!  It’s not a thick heavy cream sauce, like a traditional Alfredo sauce. Am I the only person on earth who isn’t a fan of Alfredo?  Quite possibly.  Her recipe is named Southwestern Chicken Linguine Alfredo, but I left the “Alfredo” part off in my title.

I am so happy to have found this recipe, and so is my family. For a meatless option, it’s perfectly tasty to leave the chicken out, so keep that in mind, too.  We like to have it that way during Lent.  Of course, if you LOVE chicken, you will want to take a peek at this 20+ Family Favorite Chicken Recipes round-up that I have available.  It’s literally a one-stop recipe stop for all sorts of chicken recipes and ways to use leftover chicken.

Ingredients in Southwest Chicken Linguine Recipe

You will find all of the exact measurements and instructions at the bottom of this post in the printable recipe card. 

  • Skinless chicken breasts – grilled and sliced. Or substitute 1.5 pounds of frozen grilled chicken fajita meat or any leftover chicken. Brandi has a special grilled chicken marinade she loves to use on her chicken but when I’m pressed for time I cheat and use one of my favorite “go-to” freezer items. 

  • Butter – I used salted butter but unsalted works too. Just adjust your salt accordingly.
  • Mushrooms – Freshly sliced mushrooms add a meaty texture to this dish. I used white mushrooms but baby bella would be a great alternative.
  • Onion  – I used a sweet onion, diced but you can also use a red onion.
  • Garlic – Fresh minced garlic is best but jarred will also work.
  • Diced tomatoes – I used one can of diced tomatoes, undrained.
  • Rotel diced tomatoes – I used one can of mild Rotel tomatoes with green chilies, undrained. You can determine the heat of the sauce by the kind of Rotel tomatoes you choose.
  • Salt and pepper – A touch of salt and pepper to enhance the taste.

  • Heavy cream – Heavy cream adds richness to the sauce.
  • Parmesan cheese – I used Parmesan cheese in the dish and for serving.

  • Linguine noodles – Cook the linguine al dente. You can also use another long flat pasta like fettuccine.

  • Green onions– Green onions add a nice color and look great as a garnish on this southwest chicken alfredo. 

How To Make Southwest Chicken Linguine Pasta 

First: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. 

Second: Add the mushrooms and onions and saute until softened. About 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute stirring constantly. 

Third: Add the UNDRAINED tomatoes, UNDRAINED Rotel, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking for 5 minutes. 

Fourth: Reduce heat to medium, add the cream and Parmesan cheese, and continue cooking until sauce thickens slightly, about 10 more minutes. Stirring occasionally. 

Fifth: Meanwhile boil pasta in a large pot of water according to package directions.

Toss cooked noodles with prepared sauce. Top with sliced grilled chicken and lots of green onions.

Love it? Pin it!

Don’t forget where you found this southwest chicken linguine pasta recipe! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest recipe board before you go!

 Substitutions and Variations

  • For a vegetarian dish, use black beans or tofu instead of chicken. 

  • Sprinkle some chili powder over each dish before serving to up the southwest flavor. 

  • Add more Mexican flavoring and stir in taco seasoning or fajita seasoning. 

  • Change up the Parmesan cheese for Monterey jack cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, or mozzarella cheese.  

  • Use a different pasta shape like penne pasta, bowtie pasta, or gluten-free pasta. 

  • Add a kick of heat by adding cayenne pepper. 

  • Turn this southwest chicken spaghetti into a pasta bake and add red bell pepper, yellow onion, and sweet corn, and top with plenty of cheese. 

Tips & Tricks

  • Freeze leftover chicken in bite-sized pieces so you can easily add it to this southwest chicken pasta.

  • Use frozen grilled chicken fajita meat to speed up this recipe even more.
  • Serve pasta alongside grilled chicken or cut the pieces smaller and toss them directly into the pasta. 
  • This recipe freezes well. Freeze into single-serving containers for a quick meal.

overhead of Southwestern Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl

More Southwestern Recipes to Love

If you love those Southwestern flavors, you are sure to love these recipes, too! 

    • Southwestern Sausage Brunch Roll-Ups: Puff pastry dough rolled around breakfast sausage links, scrambled eggs with green chilies, and Monterrey Jack cheese, baked up til golden brown and flaky. Easily made ahead.
    • Pinto Bean Soup – (pictured above) Bean soup with a Southwestern flair. You will enjoy the heartiness of this soup, and how it’s simply made in the slow cooker.
    • Southwest Chipotle Stuffed Peppers – Southwestern-flavored stuffed sweet bell peppers will be a tasty new addition to your weekly menu plan!
    • Southwestern Cole Slaw – Mayo-Free, a little spicy from the jalapeño, a little smoky from the cumin and little sweet from the honey.
    • Potato Croquettes – Mashed Potatoes are mixed with Southwest seasoning and fried to a crispy golden brown to make Southwest Potato Croquettes. Served with a spicy cool green chile ranch dip and they are the perfect appetizer!
    • Southwest Spiced Chicken Wings – Crispy oven-baked southwest spiced chicken wings marinated in homemade Southwest Seasoning Mix are a great addition to any party!  Serve with an Avocado Salsa Verde sauce to cool them down!

The next time you are looking for a crowd-pleasing dinner recipe, I hope you try this chicken pasta recipe. It’s satisfying to those creamy Alfredo-loving folks, and to those of us who don’t want that heaviness of an Alfredo, too.  It’s just a win-win no matter how you look at it!  

Southwest Chicken Linguine on a white plate
5 from 6 votes
Print Recipe

Southwest Chicken Linguine

This creamy linguine pasta dish is loaded with grilled chicken, mushrooms and green onion.  It gets it's Southwestern spiciness from the addition of Rotel tomatoes.  An instant family favorite!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: American
Keyword: rotel, southwest chicken alfredo, southwest chicken pasta, southwest chicken pasta recipe, southwest chicken recipe, southwest chicken spaghetti
Servings: 8
Calories: 520kcal
Author: Michaela Kenkel


  • 4 chicken breasts grilled and sliced. (I used a frozen grilled chicken fajita meat about 1.5 pounds)
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 16 ounce sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large onion diced I used a sweet onion
  • 3 - 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can MILD Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 16 ounces Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 16 ounce Linguine Noodles cooked al dente
  • Green Onions for garnishing


  • In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.
  • Add the mushrooms and onions and saute until softened. About 10 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute stirring constantly.
  • Add the UNDRAINED tomatoes, UNDRAINED rotel, salt and pepper. Continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add the cream and parmesan cheese, and continue cooking until sauce thickens slightly about 10 more minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, prepare linguini noodles according to the package directions.
  • Toss cooked noodles with prepared sauce.
  • Top with sliced grilled chicken and lots of green onions.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 710mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g
This recipe was originally posted on June 14, 2018. It has been updated to improve user experience and re-shared on June 7, 2023. 


Southwest Chicken Linguine - An Affair from the Heart

southwest chicken linguine

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  1. I love Brandi Aunt Bee’s Recipes! And Michaela, I love the use of the frozen grilled fajita meat you used, I miss my Schwann’s man!! Wonderful!!!

  2. I am SOOOO glad y’all loved the recipe! I love how you made it even easier by using that yummy pre-grilled chicken! What a wonderful idea for an easy weeknight meal!

  3. This sounds absolutely amazeballs! My family loves anything southwest and you have so many great options to put into our rotation! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. This looks so good! I haven’t had pasta in this way before. I usually will just do something Italian. I’m leaving out the mushrooms since we don’t eat them but I know the creamy sauce and seasoning will be a hit with my family.

  5. I’m always looking for ways to upgrade our pasta night. I made this the other night and it was perfect! Easy to make and so delicious!

  6. This is such a delicious recipe. I made this last night, and the combination of the creamy sauce with those Tex-Mex seasonings was fantasic.

  7. BOOYAH! This is one delicious recipe. I took the base recipe and added some diced jalapeno. DEE-licious.

  8. I love pasta and am always looking for new recipes, so I’m glad I came across this one! I like how this dish has just a little bit of heat but also has a nice creamy sauce. Thanks for sharing!

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